A group of visitors viewing a portrait of Marian Anderson

Access Programs

Portrait InSight

Experience the National Portrait Gallery's collection through vivid verbal descriptions and tactile objects. Geared towards visitors who are blind or partially sighted, these 60-minute gallery talks are offered one Thursday and Saturday a month. Topics change monthly. 

Thursday gallery talks are walk-in; Saturday talks require email registration at NPGAccess@si.edu 48 hours in advance.  Meet at the G Street entrance.

Upcoming dates:

  • Thursday, February 15 at 2 pm;  Saturday, February 17 at noon
  • Thursday, March 15 at 2pm;  Saturday, March 17 at noon
  • Thursday, April 19 at 2pm;  Saturday, April 21 at noon

Note:  On Thursdays, come for the afternoon! Portrait InSight is followed at 3:30 by America InSight, a verbally described tour in the American Art Museum. Then, at 5:00, head to the Courtyard for Take 5!

Portrait Signs

Explore the National Portrait Gallery's collection with a Deaf gallery educator. Sixty-minute walk-in gallery talks in American Sign Language are offered one Thursday and Saturday a month. Topics change monthly.

Saturday talks are voice-interpreted into English so that all may attend.  Meet at the G Street entrance.

Upcoming dates:

  • January 25 at 5:00 pm and January 27 at noon
  • February 22 at 5:00 pm and February 24 at noon

See Me at the Portrait Gallery:

A Program for Adults with Dementia and their Care-partners

Experience an interactive tour of the museum that is tailored to individuals with dementia and their care partners. Registration is required. For more information and to register, contact Ashley Grady at Access@si.edu or 202–633–2921.

Upcoming dates: (all programs are from 2:00 — 3:30 pm)

  • March 13
  • April 10
  • May 8
  • June 12
  • July 10

Portrait Story Days in ASL

A Program for Children and their Families

Join a Deaf educator for a story about a famous person told in American Sign Language, then complete a special art project. The program is free, but please register at NPGAccess@si.edu.

Voice interpretation into English will be provided.

Upcoming dates: (all programs are on a Saturday from 10:30 – 11:30 am)

  • February 24
  • March 24
  • April 28
  • May 26

Special Request Tours

Tours can be tailored to meet the needs, interests, and abilities of your group.  To make arrangements, contact NPGAccess@si.edu or 202-633-8506.

Student Programs

Student programs at the National Portrait Gallery can accommodate a variety of learners, including students with low vision or blindness, developmental or cognitive disabilities, and those requiring ASL interpretation.  To schedule a program for your class, go to the online registration page and provide as much information as possible in the relevant text boxes.